A very useful Web-based tool called the Global Powder Metallurgy Database now exists to search properties for nearly 2,500 powder metals. The database has been created by parts manufacturers and powder producers across the world through three trade associations: the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF), the European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA), and the Japan Powder Metallurgy Association (JPMA). You an find detailed mechanical, physical and fatigue properties for materials identified by ISO or MPIF code. Materials include structural steels, stainless steels, soft magnetic alloys, bearings, and nonferrous. Once you discover grades with acceptable properties, the Web site guides you to specific contacts at suppliers. Data can be downloaded as Excel or FEA software files. Data for metal injection molding was added last year. Use of the database is free, but registration is required.
Some of the biggest self-assembled building blocks and structures made from engineered DNA have been developed by researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute. The largest, a hexagonal prism, is one-tenth the size of an average bacterium.
Arevo Labs' end-production 3D printing technology for carbon composites includes a high-temperature, filament fusion printer head design and firmware for use with the company's new carbon fiber and nanotube reinforced high-temperature matrix polymers like PEEK.
Stratasys will buy Solid Concepts and Harvest Technologies and combine them with its RedEye service business. The plan takes aim at end-production manufacturing and will create one of the biggest commercial 3D printing and AM service bureaus.
The International Federation of Robotics reports that global sales of industrial robots decreased by 4% in 2012 over 2011. The biggest hit was electrical/electronics manufacturing, down by 13%; but by region, the Amerficas did well.
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